• Katinka Stecina headshot
  • Associate professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Physiology and Pathophysiology
    Room 409 – Basic Medical Sciences Building
    745 Bannatyne Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9

    Phone: 204-789-3761


  • Adjunct, biomedical engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Research themes

  • Electrophysiology
  • Spinal networks
  • Neural control of movement
  • Sensory-motor integration
  • Research interests 
  • The function of propriospinal and interneurons
  • Neural control of locomotion and walking
  • Brain, spinal cord and nerve stimulation
  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization and movement adaptation


  • Spinal cord
  • neurophysiology
  • brain
  • sensory systems
  • motor systems

Research affiliations

Research summary

Dr. Stecina is a systems physiologist and continues to study mature spinal neural networks using functional electrophysiological approaches. Her research is focused on the neural control of movement. Thoracic cholinergic neurons and serotonergic neurons involved in the control of walking are in the focus while using rodent models with combinatorial approaches to study spinal networks by optogenetics and chemogenetics. She also studies non-invasive electrical stimulation in humans as an emerging method for improving rehabilitation of motor function after spinal or other neurological injury.


Dr. Stecina obtained a BSc degree in biology and chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte while playing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Division 1 basketball. Then she studied neuroscience and obtained her PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2006. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Goteborg University in Sweden, and later at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark until 2014; when she started her independent lab at the University of Manitoba.

She has in-depth experience with systems physiology approaches to study sensory-motor integration and spinal neural networks. She has worked on the neural control of motor function by using various rodent models. Together with colleagues in the Spinal Cord Research Centre, she has established a human spinal cord injury research facility for improving health, balance, and motor control. This new facility aims to translate basic science concepts and map human spinal neural networks for developing new rehabilitation strategies after spinal cord injury. 


  • PhD, physiology, University of Manitoba (2006)
  • Bachelor of science, biology and chemistry, University of North Carolina, Charlotte (1998)


  • Trainee/Society for Neuroscience Trainee Professional Development Award to K. Armstrong, Society for Neuroscience, USA (2020)
  • Trainee/"Will-to-Win" Studentship to K. Armstrong. - The University of Manitoba (2018)
  • Trainee/Undergraduate Research Award to S. Basnayake, University of Manitoba (2017)
  • Trainee/Research Manitoba Master's Studentship to P.K. Bhullar. -Manitoba Health Research Council (2016)

Contact us

Physiology and Pathophysiology
432 Basic Medical Sciences Building
745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada